Regardless, it’s wise that the Bulls brass have reportedly walked away from talks with the Toronto Raptors to flip the veteran power forward to the Canadian-based franchise in exchange for sweet-shooting big man Andrea Bargnani.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, it’s been nearly three weeks since there has been any discussion about that potential transaction.
With only one week left until the Feb. 21 trading deadline, it’s doubtful that the two sides will find a way to hammer anything out. This is especially true when considering Bargnani’s $10 million salary is considerably less than Boozer's.
While in hindsight it may have been a mistake to dole out a five-year, $75 million contract to Boozer—he hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations that come with such a high price tag. Making a critical roster adjustment at this point in the season would certainly doom the Bulls' already slim chances of winning a championship.
Boozer isn’t having a bad 2012-13 campaign by any means, averaging a solid 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per contest.
Compare that to Bargnani—admittedly dealing with a nagging elbow injury for months now—who has put up 15.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 31.6 minutes and has seen action in just 24 games.
Because Chicago runs one of the tightest defensive ships in the league, in large part due to mastermind coach Tom Thibodeau, it would take the Italian PF/C some time to adjust to the system.
Even if Boozer is thought of as a relatively flat-footed defender and gives a few inches of height up to the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, he’s got more strength, hustle and willingness to bang down low. He’s not an ideal defensive player, but he has an innate knowledge of Thibs’ system and doesn’t make many mistakes.
Any drastic changes aside from D-Rose’s much anticipated return could harm the team’s excellent defense and great chemistry, so it’s wise of Chicago to shy away from this rumored Bargnani-for-Boozer trade.